Days after Gujarat Lions (GL) lost a high-scoring match to Delhi Daredevils (DD) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), their Australian middle-order batsman Aaron Finch believes the team will now play for pride in the three remaining matches.
Up against Kings XI Punjab, who are coming off a win against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Finch said that in T20, momentum matters a lot and despite playing good cricket, his team has not been lucky enough to post wins especially in close matches.
“It happens in T20 cricket. It’s a game that can change in a few overs. If you win your first match, which is a close one, you tend to carry the momentum and win others. But, I think, when you start losing, it tends to become a mental game. We have played good cricket but I think not good enough,” he said.
Gujarat Lions posted a 200-plus score against Delhi Daredevils, only to see it being chased down in the 18th over. Earlier also in the tournament, Gujarat Lions did well to tie the match against Mumbai Indians only to lose it in the ‘Super Over’. Up against Jasprit Bumrah, both Finch and Brendon McCullum were simply outsmarted by the Indian pacer’s guile and variation.
Finch, a batsman who in 2013 smashed a record 156 against England, said that new variations, including a knuckle ball, are the next big thing that pacers around the world are adopting in order to restore balance between bat and ball.
“It’s a very good ball, something the more and more fast bowlers are developing. You are beginning to see bowlers coming up with 2 to 3 different types of slow balls, but I think once you see it more often, the batsman will start playing it a bit confidently also,” he said.
Finch said that although things haven’t panned out well for the team, and they are out of the race for playoffs, the boys will play for pride in the remaining matches.
“We are out of the competition but we have our pride at stake and will play for winning matches. McCullum is back in New Zealand after a hamstring injury and will be missed in the last three matches,” he said.
Injuries in IPL
Finch said that the travelling and back-to-back matches do take a toll on the players, and that is why there have been so many injuries in IPL.
“It takes a big toll, especially on fast bowlers. You play a match and then sit in a bus or aircraft for 10-12 hours’ travel a day. In the end, it’s a lot of travel and not much of rest, but then that is part and parcel of the game,” he said.
Finch has already set sights on the Champions Trophy, starting in England from June 1. He said there was still plenty of time to adjust to the 50-over format. “I think personally, I will have 17 days with a couple of warm-up matches and lot of practice sessions before the first match. I think, it’s just about change in mental approach. You don’t try and score 10-12 runs per over,” he said.